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Child & Youth Protection

Chris Castano, director
360 Division Avenue S.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4501
Phone: 616-475-1246, Fax: 616-551-5645


USCCB graphic for Child & Youth Protection


The Diocese of Grand Rapids is committed to protecting children and adults from harm. Our safe environment program aims to prevent sexual abuse within our community and to help heal the wounds of past victims. In compliance with the USCCB's Charter for the Protection of Children & Young People, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has established the following: 


  • The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms for Diocesan/ Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons (English | Español | Vietnamese)
  • Protecting our children & youth: Safe environment policies and practices in the Diocese of Grand Rapids (English | Español)

Reporting Abuse 

​Resource ​Description
​Contacting the Victim Assistance
Coordinator, 616-243-0491

​The Diocese of Grand Rapids encourages anyone who has
been sexually abused as a minor by a priest, deacon or
church employee, or who has knowledge of any such
offense against a minor or vulnerable adult to contact
the appropriate civil authority or the diocesan victim
assistance coordinator at 616-243-0491. There is no
timeframe for bringing forth such a complaint.

Policy on Sexual Abuse of Minors ​Read the Diocese of Grand Rapids' policy regarding the
sexual abuse of minors.
Reporting Abuse Posters
(English | Español | Vietnamese)
Reporting Sexual Abuse of Minors - Posters in three
languages contain information about reporting alleged
abuse as well as victim assistance coordinator contact

Safe Environment Training

Resource​ Description
​(Upcoming sessions | Pre-register/register) ​Information about and/or register for an upcoming
VIRTUS® — Protecting God's Children Awareness Sessions
(*see below for additional details)
Local coordinators ​A list of local coordinators for Child & Youth

Screening & Forms

Resource​ ​Description
​(English | Español) Access and print the ICHAT Background Check Authorization Form.
This form is used by the parish or school Safe Environment Coordinator to run background checks on volunteers and employees who have lived in the State of Michigan since their 18th birthday. 
All paid Church personnel (clergy, religious and lay people) are subject to a criminal history background check. 
Volunteers who are entrusted with contact with children, the elderly, or persons with disabilities are subject to a criminal history background check. 
​(English | Español) ​Access and print the Standards of Ministerial Behavior in Dealing
with Children & Young People Form for Employees or Educators.
​(English | Español) ​Access and print the Standards of Ministerial Behavior in Dealing
with Children & Young People Form for Volunteers.

Compliance & Audits

​Resource Description
​(2017-18 | 2016-17 | 2015-16 | 2014-15 | 2013-14 | 2012-13 | 2011-12 | 2010-11 | 2009-10 | 2008-09 | 2006-07 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003) Diocesan charter compliance audit report summaries. Since the release of standards by the USCCB in 2002, the Diocese of Grand Rapids has been audited by an outside agency
to determine our adherence to national policies. In each audit so far, the diocese has been found to be in full compliance.
2017 Annual Report Findings & Recommendations ​National charter compliance report
Annual audits ​Read more about the history and process of audits on the USCCB website

Additional resources:

*Who Should Attend?

All parish or school employees, and all adult volunteers who (1) are engaged in jobs, ministries or programs that involve regular contact with children or young people; (2) or have oversight or administrative responsibility for programs or ministries involving children or young people; or as required by their parish or school administrator. Any interested parents may also attend. The presentation is intended for mature audiences only - persons under the age of 18 may attend only in accordance with established policy for Protecting God's Children.
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